OMG! Gay Marriage Will Increase Abortions!

The Heritage Foundation is making the very weird argument that allowing gay people to get married, it will cause nearly a million more abortions every year. The “reasoning” is truly loopy, with these huge leaps of logic that make no sense whatsoever.

On the surface, abortion and same-sex marriage may seem unrelated. However, as explained in an amicus brief of 100 scholars of marriage, filed in the pending Supreme Court marriage cases and summarized here, the two are closely linked in a short and simple causal chain that the Supreme Court would be wise not to set in motion.

In a nutshell: A reduction in the opposite-sex marriage rate means an increase in the percentage of women who are unmarried and who, according to all available data, have much higher abortion rates than married women. And based on past experience, institutionalizing same-sex marriage poses an enormous risk of reduced opposite-sex marriage rates.

As the amicus brief explains in detail, redefining marriage in genderless terms—which is legally necessary to permit marriage by same-sex couples—undermines the existing social norms of marriage in ways that are likely over time to reduce opposite-sex marriage rates. For example, an “any-two-adults” model of marriage implicitly tells men (and women) that a child doesn’t need a father (or mother), thereby weakening the norm of gender-diverse parenting. Other norms, such as the value of biological bonding, partner exclusivity, and reproductive postponement until marriage, will likewise crumble.

Let me translate: If we let gay people get married, straight people will suddenly decide that they don’t want to get married. Because that’s a totally rational argument, don’t you think?

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
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  • John Pieret

    The Washington Post has two good articles on the phony “statistics” used in the brief:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-new-argument-against-gay-equality-same-sex-marriage-kills/2015/04/20/9fc509d4-e7a3-11e4-aae1-d642717d8afa_story.html

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/04/21/no-gay-marriage-will-not-cause-900000-abortions/

    The lawyer who authored the brief even admitted to WaPo that he cannot actually show a connection between SSM and abortions. Unfortunately, he is also a former law clerk for Scalia and may actually have some pull with the justices.

  • Chiroptera

    The Heritage Foundation is making the very weird argument….

    Aren’t all their arguments kind of weird?

    On the surface, abortion and same-sex marriage may seem unrelated.

    Actually, they are quite clearly related to me. They were both developed to provoke the maximum incoherent rage among rubes in order to get them to vote against their own interests.

  • busterggi

    “A reduction in the opposite-sex marriage rate means an increase in the percentage of women who are unmarried ”

    Do they explain why? It makes no sense to me that this would happen.

  • Chiroptera

    John Pieret, #1: Unfortunately, he is also a former law clerk for Scalia and may actually have some pull with the justices.

    Back in Hobby Lobby, wasn’t it Kennedy who asked the (to me) irrelevant question about whether Obamacare might make employers pay for abortions? Maybe by trying to make up a link to abortion, this is an attempt to short circuit the swing judge’s reasoning abilities.

  • Die Anyway

    > “And based on past experience, institutionalizing same-sex marriage poses an enormous risk of reduced opposite-sex marriage rates.”

    Say what?? I think this seriously calls for one of those “citation needed” tags.

  • Synfandel

    A reduction in the opposite-sex marriage rate means an increase in the percentage of women who are unmarried…

    So, allowing more people to marry will increase the number of unmarried people. I doubt you could find a five-year-old who would buy that ‘logic’.

  • John Pieret

    busterggi:

    There’s some handwaving about how state approval of marriages with no procreative intent will make marriage seem less important to straights and that single women are more likely to have abortions. Then there are the phony statistics (see WaPo articles above) that supposedly show that, in states where SSM was legalized, marriage rates decreased by 5% compared to states where it was still illegal.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    See? Give up now, Liberals. The non-partisan Heritage Foundation, as usual, makes a good argument.

    Gay marriage is bad, because:

    1. If it’s allowed gay men won’t marry straight women, and

    2. Unmarried women (or, in legal parlance, “sluts”) have all the abortions, and from these it follows that

    3. Straight women will get more abortions from all the sex they aren’t having with the gay husband they don’t have.

  • Larry

    Makes sense, MO. Have you thought about a new career at the Heritage Foundation? You’ll kill there.

  • sabrekgb

    So much [Citation Needed]

    If i’m ever a judge, i swear to Father Odin that i’m going to buy a case-lot of these.

  • eric

    @3, @5, @6: its explained in John’s second link. There are lots of studies showing no linkage, but there is one Dutch study showing that the marriage rate went down when SSM laws were passed. This is because the Dutch passed a package law that included same sex marriage AND an easier civil union process anyone (gay or straight) could use instead of marriage. After that law was passed, straight marriages went down, because straight civil unions (unavailable before the law) went up. There was no decline in the rate of straight [marriage + civil unions]. But the Heritage foundation saw fit to (a) ignore the increase in straight civil unions, and then (b) extrapolate the results to a SCOTUS ruling that would only be about same sex marriage, and not include a civil union option.

    As they say, there’s lies, damnable lies, and then there’s statistics.

  • ZugTheMegasaurus

    I just realized something: these people don’t like marriage. For all their ramblings about how wonderful it is, they really think that unless someone is totally out of options, they won’t do it.

  • eric

    Two other thoughts…

    (1) Their argument applies even more to (i.e. is a reason to oppose) legalized divorce.

    (2) Say they’re right. Abortion is legal. You can’t say a practice must be forbidden because if its allowed, it will lead to more people doing legal behavior. Well you can say it, but it doesn’t make any sense.

  • http://sidhe3141.blogspot.com jy3, Social Justice Beguiler

    Didn’t Heritage used to at least pretend to be libertarian? Or is that someone else I’m thinking?

  • http://howlandbolton.com richardelguru

    Won’t those women just marry other women?

    Or is is only men who get to have SSM?

    I’m confused…

  • comfychair

    What the fuck is a “scholar of marriage” and where did they manage to find a hundred of them (who, coincidentally, unanimously agreed with… whatever made-up bullshit claims in the amicus brief)?

  • John Pieret

    What the fuck is a “scholar of marriage”

    They seem to be mostly pediatricians, theologians, philosophers and law school professors. Many, but far from all, are at religiously affiliated colleges/universities.

    You can see the list here (search for “Appendix A”):

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/ObergefellHodges/AmicusBriefs/14-556_100_Scholars_of_Marriage.pdf

  • Michael Heath

    jy3:

    Didn’t Heritage used to at least pretend to be libertarian? Or is that someone else I’m thinking?

    I don’t recall Heritage being anything other than a conservative Christian institution.

    Perhaps you’re thinking of Cato; their current claim to infamy is denying AGW via Patrick Michaels. Mr. Michaels provides many of the fallacious arguments leaders of the Republican party use to lie about the climate.

  • eric13

    It’s like they view marriage as some sort of zero-sum process, where there’s only so many marriages to go around. So, by that “thinking”, every same-sex marriage means one less opposite-sex marriage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=730511544 billdaniels

    I don’t like to brag much, but I mentioned this in a comment two or three days ago. Thank you.

  • karmacat

    They also assume married women don’t get abortions

  • gshelley

    I think Right Wing Watch need to update their list of “the 5 worst same sex marriage briefs”

  • arakasi

    I know this gets repeated a lot, but there is a clear causal chain between:

    – comprehensive sex ed

    – free or minimal cost access to a variety of forms of contraception

    – free or minimal cost access to prenatal care

    – paid long term maternity/paternity leave or govt guarantee of income

    – free or minimal cost day care

    and a greatly reduced abortion rate. When the Heritage Foundation starts supporting those items, I’ll accept that they are interested in reducing abortions and not just punishing women